Billionaire investor and activist George Soros took aim at Google and Facebook Thursday during a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, calling the tech giants “near-monopoly distributors.”
Soros’ speech included a harsh critique of both companies, with the billionaire referring to the companies as a “menace” that must be stopped with “more stringent regulations,” such as treating the companies like public utilities, according to BuzzFeed.
“They claim they are merely distributing information. But the fact that they are near- monopoly distributors makes them public utilities and should subject them to more stringent regulations, aimed at preserving competition, innovation, and fair and open universal access,” Soros said.
Soros additionally noted that that such powerful tech giants could eventually enter alliances with “authoritarian states,” and that the results would be disastrous.
“There could be an alliance between authoritarian states and these large, data-rich IT monopolies that would bring together nascent systems of corporate surveillance with an already developed system of state-sponsored surveillance,” the billionaire said. “This may well result in a web of totalitarian control the likes of which not even Aldous Huxley or George Orwell could have imagined.”